Winter danger warning

Chilly consumers are urged to be aware of the dangers that come with staying warm this winter, including flammable pyjamas, illegal heaters, gas poisoning and burns.

NSW Fair Trading commissioner Rose Webb said that while there are dangers that come with beating the winter chill, awareness would help consumers stay safe and warm.

“Over the years we have seen quite a range of unfortunate accidents surrounding heaters in winter and the NSW Government is eager to warn consumers of these dangers so they can stay safe in their homes,” Ms Webb said.

“Indoor portable heaters, otherwise known as cabinet heaters, have been banned in NSW for more than a decade but continue to be sold second-hand and online. These heaters function with an LPG gas bottle and have exploded in family homes. I don’t need to tell you what the risks of an exploding gas bottle are. It’s not worth the risk – do not buy one of these heaters.

“Using outdoor heaters inside or using unconventional heating indoors also poses a huge risk, such as carbon monoxide poisoning and can cause death.

“In 2019 there was a family at Cabramatta, including an 18-month-old baby, who almost died because they were using barbecue heat beads to stay warm inside.

“Make sure you are absolutely certain that the method you are using to keep warm is safe, not only for you but your family and your neighbours too.”

Ms Webb also warned of further dangers including hot water bottles, heat packs, electric blankets, older heaters and warming clothes or linen on heaters.

House fires remain a huge risk in winter, with 30 per cent of all residential fires in NSW occurring in the winter months, so all households are urged to check their smoke alarms are installed and functional.

For information on how to safely buy an electric heater go to

Have you ever had a close call doing the wrong thing to keep warm in winter? What happened? Share your stories in the comments section below.


Does anyone remember the old kerosene heaters of the 50's.? Our neighbour had one on in the lounge room and left the back door open ,when suddenly a gust of wind blew through the house and fire started, there was great damage done to the room.  We also had an old 2 bar heater on in the lounge room and our dog was sitting too close to it and we could smell his tail starting to burn, there was smoke coming off it and Dad had to douse it in cold water. The dog didn't even budge. 

A great number of people never add the 'What If' factor to their actions, also they never think before they act.


I remember the kerosene heaters and the large radiators and then the oil heaters --( they were great)  I now thank heaven for the A/C

PlanB - I too love the A/C but only have it on when it gets too cold. I love it most in the Summer time.

I have it winter and summer, HOLA makes me wonder how we got through early years with not having the A/C -- but what you never have you never miss -- I can remember when our cars never had A/C either --  even the new ones


To make a comment, please register or login

Preview your comment